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Experience a Snow Day!

in and around Manistee County

Groomed, Back Country, Vertical Drop & Unspoiled Wilderness. All of these things describe the Manistee County region in the heart of winter time.  When the winter white arrives, the area transforms into an outdoor adventure zone, with people from across the midwest flocking to the region to partake in all that mother nature has to offer.  Experience skiing (cross country and downhill) along with snow shoeing, fat tire biking and more!  Explore it all now!

HOW TO EXPERIENCE A SNOW DAY...

Self-Guided Tours, Snowmobiling, Cross Country Skiing & Outdoor Rec!
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icon of cross country skier icon of fat tire bike

Groomed Cross Country Skiing & Fat Tire Biking

When it comes to Cross Country Skiing & Fat Tire Biking, Manistee County is home to one of the regions oldest resorts and recreation areas.  The Big-M Recreation area is located on M-55 about 20 minutes outside of the City of Manistee. This area is home to 18 miles of beautiful, groomed, classic skiing.  In addition, the Manistee Non-Motorized Park offers nearly 4 miles of classic and skate style skiing just outside of Manistee – a perfect afternoon/quick ski trip.  Both areas also offer a combined 20+ miles of groomed fat tire single track riding!


Big-M Recreation Area : Big-M was one of the first downhill ski resorts in Michigan and is now home to 18 miles of groomed classic cross country skiing trails.  The trails are maintained throughout the season by a group of dedicated volunteers in partnership with the US Forest Service.  In addition to skiing, Big-M also has the groomed Outer Loop.  This 17 mile, 20″ wide groomed trail is an incredible experience for any fat tire riding enthusiast.  With its remote location, and difficult terrain, this trail is geared for advanced riders.  Big-M is located in the National Forest, and a parking fee is required.  A pay station is available onsite, or seasonal passes can be picked up from the US Forest Service Office in Manistee.

Manistee Non-Motorized Trail Park : Thanks to a partnership between the Shoreline Cycling club and the City of Manistee Non-Motorized Transportation Committee, nearly 4 miles of groomed classic and skate style cross country skiing is available just outside of the City of Manistee. It also boasts 5.5 miles of groomed fat tire trails, and is the perfect area for beginners or people looking for a warm up before heading to the bigger trails in the region.

icon of snowshoer

Back Country Snowshoeing Trails

Ranked one of the top 100 best outdoor recreation areas in the nation by Outdoor Life. Our diverse hiking terrain becomes a snowshoer and back country cross county skiers paradise when the white stuff starts to accumulate.  Take on top trails along the Lakeshore like Magoon Creek and the Arcadia Dunes, or venture to the famed North Country Trail and Manistee River Trail Loop.  The natural landscape is a spectacular sight!


TOP LAKE MICHIGAN SNOWSHOE TRAIL |  Arcadia Dunes/Old Baldy Trailhead: The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy has worked hard to give outdoor adventures at all skill levels access to mother nature.  The Arcadia Dunes/Baldy Trailhead offers beautiful hiking with stunning Lake Michigan Views.  GET DIRECTIONS TO THIS TRAILHEAD.

TOP LOOP TRAIL FOR ADVANCED SNOWSHOERS |  Manistee River Trail/North Country Trail Loop: This 20+ mile loop is one of the most popular summer trails in the lower peninsula.  With panoramic views along the Manistee River Basin, the suspension bridge, two hydroelectric dams and so much natural wildlife, this is an ideal multi-day winter hike and camp.  There are also perfect bite sized day hikes throughout.

Great day hikes include: 1) Red Bridge to Slagle Creek and Back – About 5-6 miles through varied terrain.  For an easier hike 2) start at Hodenpyl Dam and hike across the suspension bridge onto the river trail at a distance your are comfortable with and back.  DIRECTIONS TO RED BRIDGE TRAILHEAD  |  DIRECTIONS TO HODENPYL DAM

TOP BEGINNER TRAIL |  Magoon Creek: This 3 mile network of loops is great for beginner snowshoers looking for beautiful Lake Michigan Views.  The Magoon Creek nature area is a great, quick, shoe or back country ski only about 10 minutes from Downtown Manistee.  This is also a great spot to bring your dog for a winter run!  DIRECTIONS TO MAGOON CREEK

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Take to the Slopes around Manistee County

Manistee County has two great downhill skiing options with nearly 100 ski runs in Crystal Mountain and Caberfae Peaks.  Each location is a quick 30 minute drive (or less) from Manistee County depending on where you are staying and are very popular ski destinations in the region.


photo of downhill skier on crystal mountain

Crystal Mountain Ski Resort & Spa : Crystal Mountain is a premier winter destination in Northern Michigan.  With easy and quick access from Manistee County right up US31, Crystal Mountain is a short 30 minute drive from most lodging properties in the area and offers excellent day and night skiing along with 25k of groomed cross country skiing classic and skate. Also warm up in their full service spa following a day on the slopes.(photo courtesy of Crystal Mountain)

photo of backcountry skier at caberfae peaks

Caberfae Peaks : Boasting one of the highest vertical drops in the Lower Peninsula, Caberfae Peaks is a historic ski destination that families have been visiting for years.  With 34 runs, 485′ of vertical drop and a great back country area, Caberfae is a perfect winter destination.  Located just outside of Manistee County, Caberfae is a quick 25-35 minute drive from most lodging properties in Manistee County. (photo courtesy of Caberfae Peaks)

Snowmobiling in the Heart of the Northern Michigan

Simply put, it is one of the best places you will find for snowmobiling in Michigan.  Connected to a MASSIVE regional Trail Network, Manistee is perfectly situated in the heart of it all with quick and easy connections to Benzie, Wexford and Lake Counties.

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Snowmobile Trail Map in Manistee County

Access Google Maps/GPS for each trailhead/drop off area*

Kaleva (P)  |  Bear Lake  |  Bear Lake-North  |  Copemish  |  Manistee River (P)  |  Stronach Road (P) Wellston  |  Wellston-Cooley Bridge (P)


map illustrating manistee county snowmobile trailheads - map available for download on this site

*Please note, not all locations outlined have parking available.  See the (P) on the trailhead name to indicate if parking/staging is allowed.

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Plan Your Trip to Manistee County Now!

You are sure to find that perfect place to stay while you are in Manistee County! From quaint bed and breakfasts to beautiful golf resorts, Manistee, Michigan is home to a diverse range of lodging choices that can meet any budget need! At each of our lodging facilities, you will be met with friendly staff that are excited to have you staying with them in Manistee County!